By Devan Coward, Teacher, Ross Road Elementary
On March 4, students in Mr. Coward's Grade 5/6 class had the opportunity to interview B.C.'s Minister of Education and Child Care, the Honourable Jennifer Whiteside.
The interview was part of a yearlong series, which allowed students to engage with local, provincial, and federal leaders about issues that matter to them.
"We have interviewed a justice from Canada's Supreme Court; Mayor Mike Little, District of North Vancouver; MLA Susie Chant, and now the Minister of Education and Child Care," said Grade 5 student Calla.
Grade 6 student Colin said, "It was exciting to meet the Minister face-to-face because all our other interviews were on Microsoft Teams, due to COVID."
Students questioned the Minister on topics including, the length of the school day, the number of students in classrooms, the curriculum, and why elementary schools do not have grass fields.
"I appreciate the interest and commitment students expressed on a variety of issues that affect their school and community," said the Minister. "I was particularly impressed by the thoughtful land acknowledgment," which was given by Grade 5 student Nia. "It is clear very important learning is happening in [the] classroom."
"We want to give students a voice in their learning and their community," explained Teacher Devan Coward. "By bringing community leaders and representatives into the classroom, students can make their voices heard and inspire real change."